Nick Swisher created a small stir among the Cleveland media last week after he expressed frustration with them about how the club was being written about during a recent slump. After a 12-5 lop-sided victory against the White Sox on May 2, he spoke his mind saying:
“There have been a lot of bad things written about this team in the papers. We pay attention to all that stuff. So for us, we have to do it together. We have to band together and figure this thing out.”
While these are not scathing words, the subtle hints being thrown about are fairly obvious: The team does not like what is being written about them.
After scouring through recent articles written about the Indians recent slump, I could not find what Swisher was alluding to. In my opinion, Swisher viewed the “bad stuff” as negativity and failed to acknowledge the obvious flaws that the 2014 club has. These obvious flaws are reflected in the team’s 14-19 record through 33 games.
For journalists, there is a difference between reporting the facts and being overtly negative. “The team is terrible” is being overtly negative. “The team has lost seven in a row” is simply stating a fact. Sometimes, athletes get these two points confused. It is the media’s responsibility to report a fair assessment of the current state of affairs of the club. They owe it to the fans, sponsors, and decision makers to provide key factual analysis of why the team is playing poorly (or well.)
From an athlete’s perspective, an 0-17 slump is tough enough to deal with on its own let alone an entire city or region discussing it at the water cooler. The slump being publicized does not help matters much.
However, what the athlete has to understand that the media is the sole reason why he is being written about in the first place.
It was probably out of frustration that Swisher made those comments. I just wish he would keep everything in context.